Soul Power is a vital documentary about “Zaire ’74,” a three-day concert, preceding the famous Ali/Foreman “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match in Kinsasha, Zaire, where great musical acts like Celia Cruz, the Fania All Stars, James Brown, The Spinners and B.B. King performed under a banner intended to popularize Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko.
Culled from rare concert footage, director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte — editor on the Oscar-winning When We Were Kings — leaves out the politics of the day while retaining some of the cultural significance of the sweat-drenched event with fly-on-the-wall footage of interaction between the musicians, concert crew managers and the filmmaker himself.
Soul Power is an imperfect social document of a time when anything seemed possible. Here's proof that Michael Jackson never had a thing on James Brown. Grade: B
Opens Aug. 21. Check out theaters and show times, see the film's trailer and get theater details here.